Eat Right 4 Your Type, a book written by Dr. Peter D’Adamo in 1996, has an interesting take on the topic of blood type. He proposes four separate Blood Type Diets to have potential health benefits, but only one of them is designed for you. Each diet is created specifically for a primary blood type (A, B, O, AB) and suggested to incorporate foods that contain the same likeness to what our ancestors would’ve survived eating.
Our Blood Type Is Inherited
It’s true, we inherit our blood type from our ancestors. By going back through history D’Adamo considers the specific molecules, proteins, antigens and antibodies we inherited from our ancestors; to create a diet that would work for that specific immune system.
We are not here to claim a miracle diet. Not at all. The Blood Type Diet may work very well for some. It seems plausible and many people have reported improved health after adhering to their suggested blood type diet. However, this cannot likely be true for everybody. Our bodies are very likely more complex than that.
Does Blood Type Evolve Over Time?
There could very well be multiple factors that may also have likely contributed to the evolution of our blood types throughout history.
• International Agriculture Trade and Globalization
• Introduction of New Illness and Disease
• Advanced Medical Practices/Vaccines
• Environmental Changes Affecting the Globe
Considering what kinds of influences the examples mentioned above could have had on the evolution of our blood types over the past two centuries, we can begin to understand just how complicated our individual blood types have become. As a result of this knowledge, it becomes clearer that things like the blood type diet, can be viewed as just another piece of the pie to be considered when addressing a much larger question.
Just how important is our blood type regarding overall health?
The Composition Of The Human Body
Have you ever wondered what makes up your body, apart from blood? The answer might surprise you. The human body is a little over 1% potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium. The remaining almost 99% of the human body is composed of only six other elements. They are oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus. But the blood contains the most interesting bits of information.
What's Inside Our Blood?
For instance, the blood is the body’s last defense against invading microbes and pathogens that manage to get past the skin. White blood cells, called B lymphocytes, are responsible for creating antibodies needed to attack invaders. Another type of white blood cell, called T lymphocytes cleanup unwanted or damaged cells.
What’s even more incredible is once an antibody has been created, the body keeps a record of that exact antibody in case it ever encounters that antigen, pathogen or microbe ever again. A prime example of this process would be a disease like chickenpox caused by the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV). People tend to only get chickenpox once in their life. This illustrates the idea of how the immune system can build up immunity over time. On top of that, we have our inherited antigens.
What Are Antigens?
Antigens are any substance that can cause an immune response from the body. People are born with antigens, already in their blood. As we mentioned earlier, the collections of antigens found in our specific blood types are different. Hence, how we classify the different blood types (A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, AB-).
Interestingly, we inherit our antigens from our ancestors. Much like what Dr. D’Adamo proposed about region-point specificity for food selection can also be applied in understanding what region-specific antigens our ancestors were most likely exposed to. These are the antigens we inherit. It wouldn’t be out of the question to think that someone’s blood type and collection of antigens, would have a direct correlation with understanding what medications, remedies and treatments might be more effective for an individual body.
D'Adamo, P., & Whitney, C. (1996). Eat right 4 (for) your type: the individualized diet solution to staying healthy, living longer & achieving your ideal weight : 4 blood types, 4 diets. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.